Dreaming of a ‘white Christmas’ that’s more about the colour of your teeth than the weather outdoors? If the answer is yes, you’re certainly not in the minority. In fact, a handful of recent studies have indicated that approximately 75% of people in the United Kingdom are not happy with the colour of their teeth.
Which can be particularly problematic around Christmas, when you’re infinitely more likely to be spending time with any number of people in various social and family settings. Meaning that if you don’t have confidence in your smile, you might not get the maximum enjoyment out of the festive season.
A shame, to say the least.
And that’s exactly why this is the time of year when millions reach for those high-quality teeth whitening kits, electric toothbrushes for tooth whitening and all manner of weird and wonderful accessories. Starting the festive season with a gleaming white smile can be great, but how about holding onto it into the New Year?
Everybody knows that the festive season takes a toll on our oral health in general, but this doesn’t mean we can’t stage a serious and effective fight-back. So if you’d like to hold on to that snow-white smile for as long as possible this Christmas, here’s a quick rundown of a few essential tips and insights from the experts:
Brush After Eating and Drinking
First and foremost, dentists recommend carrying a soft toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste with you, if you find yourself out and about over the Christmas period. The reason being that after consuming the kinds of foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth, it can help to give your mouth a good clean. It’s not to say that you have to brush your teeth every single time you eat or drink, but a couple of additional light and gentle brushings throughout the day could make a difference.
…But Not Too Soon!
That said, many dentists recommend against brushing your teeth too soon after eating or drinking. The reason being that for around 30 minutes or so after eating or drinking, your teeth and gums are considerably more fragile than they would normally be. Hence, it can be useful to opt for a quality mouthwash after eating or drinking, in order to help the mouth return to its normal healthy balance.
Use Floss and Mouthwash Every Day
Along with a high-quality mouthwash, it is also critically important to use dental floss on a daily basis. The key thing to remember being that flossing represents just about the only way of effectively cleaning below the gum line. Sidestep flossing and you run the risk of developing a distinctive yellow hue below the gum line, which isn’t going to serve as a particularly pretty background for your gleaming white teeth.
Switch to a Whitening Toothpaste
The important thing to remember when it comes to whitening toothpaste is this – it isn’t going to whiten your teeth significantly, all on its own. Instead, quality whitening toothpastes are all about removing and preventing surface stains from establishing in the first place. Meaning that if you have already made the effort to whiten your teeth with a quality kit, you may want to bring one of the best whitening toothpastes on the market into your daily routine. The same also going for a quality whitening mouthwash, for added impact.
Drink Through a Straw
Sure, it looks a little strange, but if you really want to prevent stains from setting-in on your teeth in the first place, the best thing to do is avoid exposure to stains. Hence when drinking things like red wine, tea or coffee, you could go the whole-hog and drink through a straw. By preventing these heavily-staining drinks from making direct contact with your teeth, they’re significantly less likely to cause discoloration.
Use Baking Soda
In this particular instance, we’d advise speaking to your dentist beforehand for the go ahead. The reason being that while many dentists fundamentally recommend the use of natural whitening agents like baking soda, others advise staying away from them at all costs. Which for the most part comes down to the patient in question – baking soda’s abrasive action not being suitable for all mouths. Nevertheless, if your dentist whole-heartedly recommends baking soda, it can be a great way of keeping surface stains at bay throughout the festive season.
Do yourself a favour and focus on hydration this Christmas. When the wine, sherry and coffee begin to flow, it’s easy to forget that these are all the kinds of things that can actually dehydrate your body significantly. The more dehydrated you become, the drier your mouth becomes and easier it becomes to stain your teeth. And of course, the importance of hydration for the rest of the body in general simply cannot be overstated.
It’s a point we’ve brought up quite a few times as of late, but really couldn’t be more apt over the Christmas period. Cheese has the habit to be surprisingly effective as a stain-prevention agent, providing the body with a good dose of calcium while at the same time helping restore the natural acid balance within the mouth. So while it’s not necessarily advisable to eat kilograms of the stuff all in one sitting, you do at least have the perfect excuse to indulge modestly!
Last but not least, simply by carrying a pack of sugar-free chewing gum around with you at all times, you stand every chance of holding on to your beaming smile, well into the new year. The chewing action itself can be one of the very best defences of all against the kinds of attacks that can lead to discolouration. The long and short of it being that every time you eat or drink, simply pop a piece of gum in your mouth and prevent the damage from being caused in the first place.